Saucony Ride 7 vs. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 review

Saucony Ride 7 offers a very soft, smooth, and stable ride for daily runs to neutral runners. ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 is an overall cushy and durable high-mileage trainer. Read more...

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The Saucony Ride 7 and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 are both neutral cushioning running shoes that can be worn by runners who do not need a whole lot of stability, but that are rather looking for lots of cushioning.


The Saucony Ride 7 is a step down from the Saucony Triumph 11, which can be said to be the equivalent of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, so theoretically speaking, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 should be better than the Saucony Ride 7.

Let's see if this is the case...

The uppers of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 and the Saucony Ride 7 consist of traditional stitched-on overlays that are broad and plentiful on the medial side of the shoe where overpronators tend to need the most support.

The Saucony Ride 7 has no-sew overlays on the lateral side of the shoe with an overlay that runs from the back of the shoe along the midsole towards the forefoot. So overall, it provides a good wrap around the midfoot and a secure fit from heel-to-toe.

However, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 provides a much better wrap around the midfoot with traditional overlays and then on top of that it has FluidFit no-sew overlays in between to provide a closer-to-foot feel with at the back of the shoe a heel counter that locks the heel down on the running platform.

Based on all this you can expect a much tighter and secure fit from the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 than from the Saucony Ride 7. And if you have big bunions, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 will also provide more room for them than the Saucony Ride 7.

The midsole of the Saucony Ride 7 is similar to that of the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 in that both provide heel-to-toe cushioning. The ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 has a FluidRide midsole that does that, and the Saucony Ride 7 has a PowerGrid midsole for this same purpose.

The main difference is that the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 has two layers of foam with the one closest to the foot being the softest one and the bottom layer the more responsive one.

And between the layers of foam, there is a generous amount of GEL cushioning in the heel and in the forefoot. The GEL in the heel is mainly used to soften the impact of heel-strike. In the Saucony Ride 7, a well-segmented and beveled crash pad under the heel that runs till the midfoot is used to achieve the same.

And extra cushioning in the Saucony Ride 7 comes in the form of blown rubber in the forefoot.

When you put all this together, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 turns out to be softer in the heel but firmer in the forefoot than the Saucony Ride 7 for women.

For men, the differences between the two shoes are minimal with the Saucony Ride 7 being the slightly softer one in both the heel and the forefoot.

So if you are a heel-striker, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 would be best for you as a woman, while the Saucony Ride 7 would be better for you as a man.

The rubber outsoles of both running shoes are well-segmented for shock absorption and have deep flex grooves in the forefoot for flexibility.

But all that forefoot cushioning comes at a price. Both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 and the Saucony Ride 7 turn out to be pretty stiff shoes.

Heavier runners tend to appreciate the amount of stiffness offered by both the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 and the Saucony Ride 7. But the Saucony Ride 7 is much lighter than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16. It is also more stable since it provides full ground contact as opposed to the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16, which has a midfoot shank.

The women's version of the Saucony Ride 7 weighs approximately 8.2 oz (232 grams) and the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 for women weighs 9.7 oz (275 grams). The men's versions of the shoes weigh 9.5 oz (269 grams) and 11.9 oz (337 grams), respectively.

If you are a runner who does not require any kind of stability and are looking for a running shoe that provides a very soft and comfortable ride with a very secure fitting upper, the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 might be worth a try.

And if you are looking for a lightweight neutral cushioning running shoe that provides a very cushy and smooth ride with a little bit of stability, then the Saucony Ride 7 might be the one for you.

Surprisingly enough, the Saucony Ride 7 stacks up well against the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16 with the main difference that it is much lighter and in some cases provides just a little bit more cushioning than the ASICS GEL-Nimbus 16. Both are good for daily runs and can handle lots of miles.

Note: The weight of a running shoe depends on the size of the running shoe, so any weights mentioned in this review may differ from the weight of the running shoe you choose to wear. Running shoes of the same size were compared for this review.

The two links above will take you to where you can read more about the running shoes.

This review falls under: ASICS | Saucony

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